TE Talk

Posted: March 3rd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Zach Ertz finally had his breakout year in 2017. He didn’t post elite numbers. In fact, he didn’t have a career high in catches, yards or yards per catch. Ertz did have 8 TDs, which was a career high. What made this year different was the impact he had. He wasn’t loading up on big numbers in random games. He wasn’t catching meaningless passes in blowout losses. Ertz made key catches for the best offense in football. For the first time in his career, he was a weapon in the Red Zone.

Ertz, Brent Celek and Trey Burton gave the Eagles a terrific trio of TEs, but there will be changes this year.

Burton is as good as gone. He was 23-248-5 for the Eagles this year and that’s excellent production from your #3 TE. The problem is that some team is going to want him to be a weapon for them. I don’t think he can ever be a true starter and someone you feed the ball to, but he’s outplayed his role on the Eagles. They have so much money in Ertz that they can’t afford to bring Burton back at a salary that would be fair to him. Burton could get as much as $6M or even $7M per season. Good for him.

That would also be good for the Eagles. The bigger a deal that he gets, the more it helps them to earn a quality comp pick in 2019. You need to hope some team rewards Burton with a big deal.

More than a few people on Twitter wondered about Rapoport’s comment that the Eagles are “stocked at TE”. My guess is that he thinks Celek is coming back. That could be something he’s heard or just a guess on his part.

If the Eagles do return Ertz and Celek, that gives them a good TE situation. They would have the option of drafting a player to add to the mix or giving a chance to the developmental guys on the roster.

Celek is due $5M this year and there is no way the Eagles can pay him that much. Celek could retire or take a pay cut. We haven’t heard anything from him or the team about his future. The two sides will need to figure that out in the next week.

If he leaves, the Eagles could sign a cheap free agent or draft a player. You don’t want to rely on a rookie TE to start for you, but as someone to team with Ertz, that would be fine.

The Eagles do have some interesting in-house talent at TE.

Billy Brown – 6-4, 255
Adam Zaruba – 6-5, 265
Joshua Perkins – 6-3, 223

Brown is in his second year with the team. He was a D2 WR, but made a nice transition to TE last spring and summer. I was surprised at how well he played and thought he had a shot at even making the roster. Brown showed talent and potential last year. This year he has to show that he could be a reliable player for a team that expects to compete for another title. That takes more than just talent. He’s got to know the playbook thoroughly and to have the trust of his teammates.

Zaruba is the former rugby player who was extremely raw. He did show NFL type talent. He will have a full offseason and that will help his transition to football. I don’t know if he can win a job this year, but TE is a weird position where guys from other sports can sometimes adapt quicker than expected. He’s more of a long shot, but don’t rule him out.

Perkins played for the Falcons in 2016 and was 3-42-1 for them. He was on their practice squad last year.

That looks like someone that could develop into a good role player.

One of the real keys for any of these guys will be their ability to contribute on STs. Burton was a core ST’er and very good at it. Not all young players understand that side of things.

*****

TEs worked out today at the Scouting Combine. Penn State star Mike Gesicki posted some crazy workout numbers. He ran the 40 in 4.55 seconds. He had a 41.5-inch vertical jump. More than a few fans had visions of an Ertz-Gesicki combination dancing in their heads.

No way that happens.

That would give you a pair of terrific pass-catchers, but the guys are just too similar in terms of skill set. Gesicki can’t block. Ertz is erratic, going from good to awful depending on the play. You must have someone who can be a reliable blocker to help the run game.

Hayden Hurst is my #1 TE and had a strong workout today. He can block and catch, but the Eagles would have to spend pick 32 to get him. That would be a big investment for a team that already has a star in Ertz.

Will Dissly of Washington and Durham Smythe of Notre Dame are complete TEs who could be available in the middle rounds. Both of them would be interesting targets. We’ll talk a lot more about draft targets in the weeks to come. As fun as it would be to see Gesicki in green, I just don’t see it as a good fit or likely move.

_


One Comment on “TE Talk”

  1. 1 营销软件 said at 4:07 AM on March 4th, 2018:

    新年虽已过,好运不打折!